Assessing the Critical Thinking and Numeracy Skills of Doctor of Physical Therapy Students

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies


Leadership Studies

Committee Chair

Moore, Wayne A. (W. Allen)

Committee Member

Selden, Sally C.

Committee Member

Austin, Gary P.


Development of Critical Thinking (CT) skills in Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students during the three-year curriculum has been highlighted by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education. Numeracy skills are important for understanding research findings and properly dosing physical therapy interventions. This study tested 137 DPT students from four different cohorts at one DPT program once in the spring of 2015. The Health Science Reasoning Test with Numeracy (HSRT-N) was utilized to test CT and numeracy skills in an orienting cohort (Cohort A) and three other cohorts near the end of year one (Cohort B) year two (Cohort C) and year 3 (Cohort D) of the curriculum. The differences in CT and numeracy skills which were identified over two years between Cohort A and Cohort C may indicate time is an important factor in CT advancement. CT and numeracy skills may be important additions to DPT program admission standards, as may non-science undergraduate major. GPA importance may be limited as an admission standard.


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